What Percentage of a Settlement Does a Lawyer Get?
Attorney’s fees for Nevada personal injury lawyers are typically paid on a contingency basis. If the plaintiff wins, the attorneys will get a percentage of the settlement. If the plaintiff loses, the attorney gets nothing.
Your attorney will take around 33 to 40 percent of your financial award, plus court costs. However, in some cases, the court may order that the defendant pay some, or all, of the plaintiff’s attorney fees.
In this article, our Las Vegas car accident attorney discusses how attorney’s fees work in Nevada accident cases:
1. Contingency fees in Las Vegas, Nevada Personal Injury Cases
Most every personal injury lawyer is paid on a contingency fee basis. This typically means that, unless your attorney recovers financial compensation for you, you are not required to pay them. Conversely, if they do win a settlement, you will pay them a percentage of the settlement that is awarded.
The typical contingency fee in Nevada personal injury cases ranges between 33% to 40% of the plaintiff’s settlement plus case costs. That means that if you are awarded $100,000 in damages, the attorney would get between $33,000 and $40,000 (33%-40% of $100,000).
1.1. Why Contingency Fee’s Are In Your Best Interest
Although it is not required that personal injury lawyers work for their clients on a contingency fee basis, it has become the industry standard as it is typically in the clients best interest. Here is why:
Contingency fee agreements allow those who have become injured and would otherwise not be able to afford an attorney, to hire an attorney, risk-free: If the attorney loses the case, the victim pays no money (in most cases).
Conversely, contingency fee agreements give attorneys more incentive to work harder–and smarter. They’ll likely want to keep case costs as low as possible and fight for you as hard as possible as their bottom line depends on it.
2. Nevada contingency fee requirements
Nevada law requires that all contingency agreements be made in writing. A verbal agreement will not suffice.
In addition, contingency agreements should, at a minimum, include the following provisions:
How the fee is calculated, including the percentages owed to the attorney in the event of settlement, trial, or appeal; and
If litigation fees are deducted from the settlement amount; and
Whether the client is liable for the expenses regardless of the case outcome;
Once the case is either settled or dismissed, the attorney must provide the client with an outline of the case as well as a settlement statement along with an outline of fees due to the attorney. This fee will typically include a contingency fee alongisde any costs incurred.
3. Court costs in Nevada personal injury cases
Court costs encompass all of the expenses the attorney incurred in preparing the case. Typical examples include:
- court reporters’ fees for depositions, including a reporter’s fee for a certified copy of each deposition;
jurors’ fees, witness fees, pretrial hearing fees and expenses (assuming the case escalates to trial);
- interpreters’ fees (for deposition or trial);
- process server fees;
- reasonable costs for printed copies, digital copies, postage, and travel and lodging in relation to deposition costs;
- court fees for filings;
- any other reasonable and required expense incurred in relation to the lawsuit.
In most contingency fee arrangements, the attorney will agree to absorb all costs related to the case in the event they do not win. This provides injury victims even more incentive to retain an attorney.
However, if the attorney wins the case, most contingency fee agreements have a provision that requires reimbursement for the attorneys out-of-pocket expenses out of the plaintiff’s settlement.
Example: Joe is an injury lawyer. He and his client, Ted, agree to a contingency fee agreement where Joe would receive 33% of any settlement or verdict plus court costs. Joe ends up negotiating a $100,000 settlement for Ted, and he spends $4,000 on court costs. Therefore, Joe would receive $33,000 for his attorney fee (33% of $100,000) plus $4,000 to reimburse him for court costs, leaving Ted with the remaining balance.
Court costs vary greatly depending on the complexity of the case. In some instances, it can cost a few hundred dollars, and other times it is much more. Be sure to ask your attorney what they anticipate the court costs to be BEFORE signing an agreement!
How The Injury Firm Can Help
If you or a loved one have experienced injury due to the negligence of another person or entity, please do not hesitate to contact Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer, Brian M. Boyer of The Injury Firm for a free, no-obligation case review. If he cannot help you, he will point you in the best direction for your specific needs! Call him today at (702) 800-0988.